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Cristina M. Kuhnel, DMD
Kuhnel Dentistry, PA

Implants

Dental Implants are the best alternative to your own teeth and can provide a lifetime of excellent chewing and aesthetics. Patients who have been treated with implants are able to chew all the foods they desire and no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of having their teeth come loose in public.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the best alternative to natural teeth. A dental implant is a replacement for the lost root of a tooth. Once the root of the tooth is replaced with an implant, then a new crown can be made over the implant to provide a new life-like tooth (see illustration). Dental implants can be used to replace single teeth, multiple teeth, and to secure loose dentures. Dental implants have been used successfully for more than 30 years. The development stage of dental implantology ended more than two decades ago, and research studies have clearly established the safety and effectiveness of dental implants.



         

 

Dental Implants Can:

  • replace missing teeth
  • tighten loose dentures
  • reduce or eliminate sore spots caused by dentures
  • eliminate the need for denture adhesives
  • prevent bone loss that occurs after a tooth is lost
  • prevent the shaving down of healthy teeth for conventional crowns
  • replace dentures with permanent teeth
  • provide patients with the confidence of real teeth
  • allow patients to eat all the foods they enjoy

Can I afford dental implants?

If you can afford conventional dentistry, then you can afford implant dentistry. At our office, you can have a single tooth implant and crown for about the cost of a three-tooth bridge. At Kuhnel Dentistry our goal is to provide treatment to patients that is affordable. There are many different options that patients have when choosing dental implants. We can customize your treatment so that you can benefit from dental implants.

Who is a candidate for dental implants?

  • People in good general health
  • People approximately 15 years and older
  • People who would like increased chewing efficiency
  • People with loose dentures
  • People with missing teeth

Why choose dental implants?

Dental implants are the most predictable, long-term solution for the replacement of missing teeth.   Dental implants have been used for over 30 years and can provide patients with a lifetime of permanent teeth.  Consider this, when a tooth is lost, the root that supports the tooth is also lost.  This root was the foundation that supported the crown of the tooth.  If this root is not replaced, a process of bone resorption starts to occur immediately.  This is because once the root of the tooth is lost, the bone in the area no longer has any stimulation.  Because of this the bone starts to atrophy (disappear).  This process is unavoidable unless the root of the tooth is replaced.  The only method for replacing a lost root is with a dental implant.  Once a dental implant is placed in the area of the lost tooth, the bone is given new stimulation and will stop resorbing. 

Another benefit of dental implants is that a dental implant can restore chewing efficiency to 100%.  In a situation where a tooth is lost and the adjacent teeth are shaved down for a conventional bridge, the teeth that have been shaved down now have to take more forces because the false tooth has no supporting root.  Over time, this can cause stress to the abutment teeth.  In a study done on the average longevity of 3-tooth bridges, it was found that 1 out of 4 bridges was lost after 15 years.  The failure rate increases with 4-tooth bridges.  Now the problem becomes what happens when the bridge is lost.  Usually, what occurs is the loss of one or both of the abutment teeth.  This can lead to extensive dental work in the future.

When this same situation is treated with a dental implant, these problems can be completely avoided.  When an implant is used to replace a missing tooth, the adjacent teeth can be left untouched.  Also, because a new support is placed in the bone, the adjacent teeth do not have to do more work, and therefore, the longevity of those teeth is increased.  Also, implants will never decay; therefore, there is no chance of losing the implant to tooth decay.

Dental implants have the same benefit for complete and partial denture wearers.  Once a patient has lost his/her teeth, the process of bone resorption begins.  Usually, for the first few years of denture wearing, the dentures will fit all right; however, after the bone continues to resorb for a period of time, the dentures will become difficult to wear.  This occurs because the bone that once supported the roots of teeth starts to deteriorate.  This process is unavoidable and will lead to loose fitting dentures.

Ideally, this type of situation should be treated with full mouth implants; however, by simply placing 2-4 implants, the bone can be re-stimulated and the resorption process can be stopped.  The placement of implants will also allow the dentures to be rigidly fixed in the mouth and will dramatically improve chewing efficiency and comfort.

In summary, dental implants are the best replacement for the loss of teeth.  Implants can restore chewing efficiency to 100%, stop the resorption of bone and provide a lifetime of confidence in your smile.  Consider this, in a study done on patients who had received dental implants, 80% said that their overall psychological health improved after they received dental implants.  This is possible because having dental implants allows patients to more fully enjoy life.  With dental implants patients can enjoy all the foods they like and are not worried about their teeth in social situations.  Also, by choosing dental implants now, you are decreasing the chances of having problems with your teeth in the future.  Dental implants offer patients a lifetime of better chewing and more confidence because they function just like real teeth.

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